How A Traditional Yacht Looks On The Inside - 07/28/2010

Forgive us, kind readers, for we have sinned. We spent last weekend on a sailboat. The prospect of 104-degree temperatures in homeport Stamford, CT last weekend caused a friend to take pity and a long weekend sail out of Newport, RI was proffered on the 105' (32 m) ketch Whitehawk. As you can see, that was an invitation not to be refused, and the experience got us to thinking about the state of large motoryacht interiors these days. Yes, we know that wood in the interior can be heavy, is expensive to fabricate, and requires a little more care than fiberglass, but it pays dividends in ambiance and the quality of life. And these days handsome wood veneers with foam cores can make heavy-looking joiner work light as a feather. Some new teak vinyls are hard to tell from the real thing and only require a damp cloth to keep looking new.

Whitehawk has a cold-molded wood hull, but it could have just as easily have been a one-off fiberglass hull. Her interior is not 100% varnished wood, of course, and most of the bulkheads are faced with a cream-colored wallboard material that works because of the varnished teak trim that accents and surrounds it. All of this is just food for thought the next time you think about up-dating your motoryacht: a pleasing way to go might be retro. And just because this is a sailboat, it doesn't mean that there are not a lot of good ideas aboard that can be used on motoryachts as well.

Whitehawk
If you ever wanted to know what a real yacht's saloon looks like, this is it. The 105' (32 m) ketch Whitehawk has just undergone a major re-fit and is once again plying the waters of New England.
Whitehawk
Whitehawk draws 7'6" and has a stainless steel hydraulic daggerboard that gives her a draft of 16' when it is down. All halyards and sheets are handled by hydraulic winches, and the bow thruster is also hydraulic. We prefer hydraulic windlasses and thrusters to electric for the same reason this boat has them -- they are more reliable and can be run for hours if need be. The PTO is off the ship's man engine, which is off-set to port and drives the centreline prop shaft by means of hydraulics.
Whitehawk
She is a Bruce King design that was built in 1978 in Rockport, Maine. The fireplace on the bulkhead is real. Originally it was wood burning, but the new owner has transformed it into a far more practical gas fireplace. It looks great, even on a summer evening, to take the chill off the A/C. A painting now covers the unfortunate TV screen installed by a previous owner. Look closely at the chair on the left and note a wire under the seat that connects the chair to a recessed brass pad eye in the deck. This keeps furniture in place no matter what the angle of heel. The huge skylight in the overhead makes the saloon bright and is a good idea for many powerboats.
Whitehawk
The cockpit of Whitehawk looking forward from the wheel. The fold-down leaves on the table allow for easy access. Seat backs are inclined and not vertical as one often sees on fiberglass boats. We have seen the same arrangement with a dodger on center console boats and it works equally well on them.
Whitehawk
A "J"-shaped galley provides counter space for lots of prep. The four-burner propane stove allows the generator to be smaller and concentrate on A/C and refrigeration.
Whitehawk
Whitehawk has a 20'6" (6.3 m) beam. This is the master stateroom in the most comfortable place on the boat -- bisected by the mainmast, which is the fore-and-aft as well as side-to-side fulcrum of the boat. We like the queen bunk on the port side of the boat because it is cozy and saves space vs. an island berth. Note handholds in strategic locations -- something that is just as important on powerboats as on sailboats. We like the prism in the overhead directly above the bed. Powerboat builders could brighten up their cabins with this old device.
Whitehawk
A guest stateroom has a double below and a single pilot berth above. Note the shelves for books and sundries. Thanks to Martha Stewart the beds look smaller than they really are. Somehow, we need to ban Martha from boats because the last thing yachtsmen need is a pile of useless pillows aboard.

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